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Dueling early Oscar predictions

February 2, 2006 |  8:09 am

Don't miss the face-off between me and my fellow Enveloper, Oscar Beat columnist Steve Pond, over sizing up the Oscar nominees' early chances to win! Which one of us is correct about best actress? Steve (Reese) or me (Felicity)?

Our rundowns were published yesterday in The Envelope's print edition of The Times. I especially hope that every paranoid "Brokeback Mountain" fan checks this out, so I can finally dash those ridiculous Internet rumors that I'm plotting against its shot at best picture.

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Comments

Can anyone else explain to me why Capote is even nominated for best picture and why philip seymour hoffman is the front runner. Hoffman gives a good performance, no doubt, but it by no means is a slam dunk performance -- Heath Ledger and Terrance Howard are both excellent in their roles and I think better. Why is Catherine Keener even nominated -- what did she do? She should have been nominated for the 40 year old virgin instead -- but to take away from other worthy supporting performances(Sandra Bullock in Crash, Taraji Henson in Hustle and Flow and Scarlett Johannson in Match Point) is crazy.

I haven't seen Transamerica yet becuase it hasn't been here, but I wonder if this will be the catagory with an upset. Will the acadamy really honor Reese when there is no way Joaquin has any chance of beating Phillip Seymour Hoffman?
One article I was reading said there may be an upset in best supporting catagory with Michelle overtaking Rachel. My vote would go to Catherine Keener. Michelle was good, but didn't have much to do. Of course both Judi Dench for Shakessphere In Love and Beatrice Straight had less than 10 minutes screen time and won oscars.

I really wish the Academy would vote in this category for the best performance of the year and not to make up for awards that certain actors were never given. I love George Clooney, but there was nothing great about his performance, why not give him best script since that's the movie that they love from him and by the way gave the better performance. I loved Paul Giamatti in Sideways, but don't remember anything superb about him in Cinderella Man.

The really best performance is by Matt Dillon. It is a truly the most memorable performance of the year.

Why doesn't the ingenue theory work for best actor? No offense to Reese Witherspoon, who I loved in sweet home alabama, just like heaven, election, but there is really nothing special about her performance in Walk the Line other than the fact that she sings. So why has she been the one winning the awards when Felicity Huffman -- did the whole dress down act -- an academy favorite -- i almost feel that if Reese had been in Transamerica, she would win as well.

So my question is why doesn't it work for best actor. Heath ledger clearly gives the performance of the year but he is playing second fiddle to Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Academy voters should vote for the best performance.

I really wish the Academy would vote in this category for the best performance of the year and not to make up for awards that certain actors were never given. I love George Clooney, but there was nothing great about his performance. I loved Paul Giamatti in Sideways, but don't remember anything superb about him in Cinderella Man.

The really best performance is by Matt Dillon. It is a truly memorable performance and he should win for the whole crash actors.

Annie Proulx, author of the source material for BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, said:
"The only people who would have problems with it are people who are very insecure about themselves and their own sexuality and who would be putting up a defense, and that's usually young men who haven't figured things out yet. Jack and Ennis would probably have trouble with this movie."
AMPAS members are usually described as "not young," so perhaps they are just "very insecure about themselves and their own sexuality" and are, therefore, "putting up a defense" because they "haven't figuired things out yet." Perhaps the AMPAS members who have not yet seen the film are more like Jack and Ennis than they, themselves, would like to admit.

Marieke, it's my understanding that once an AMPAS member, always, as long as you request to be. They say the nursing homes of southern California abound in AMPAS members, many of whom still choose to vote although they haven't been near a movie set in decades.

I was wondering if all the living Oscar winners and/or nominees of the past will automatically remain AMPAS members or is it necessary for them to still have an active career in the film industry to still be considered member of the academy? If the former is true, the AMPAS would have an evergrowing membership. Can someone clarify this?

I don't know what it is right now, but the AMPAS membership should be close to what it was in 2002, for an idea of the relative weight of the different categories.

2002 AMPAS: 1315 actors, 459 producers, 430 executives, 409 writers, 409 sound personnel, 368 public relations personnel, 364 art directors, 364 directors, 362 members-at-large (not fitting into any specific category), 299 short film helmsmen, 247 music composers and lyricists, 217 visual effects personnel, 216 film editors, 170 cinematographers, and 110 documentarians.

Total voting members in 2002: 5739

I agree with Steve that Reese will take the Oscar.

My reasoning:

1. Reese is well-loved in Hollywood circles and has a tremendous fan base. She is this year's IT girl and she is going to make it to the stage to accept her Oscar. It will be one of the highlights of the evening.

2. Julia Roberts beat Ellen Burstyn, Halle Berry beat Sissy Spaceck, and Hillary Swank beat Annette Bening twice. Reese wll beat Felicity as well. The ingenue wins out most of the time.

3. Reese gave the performance of her young life and was the heart and soul of a biopic movie that was not centered on her character. That is not to say Joaquin Phoenix was not terrific because he was. But Reese's performance, much like Heath Ledger's in BBM is the one that stays with you when you leave the theatre.

I have been wrong before and I may again. I chose Renee over Nicole too. But I will be hoping that come Oscar night, it is America's new sweetheart who takes hom the Golden boy.

3.

while i wouldn't be surprised if some AMPAS members won't see BBM because of the gay subject matter, i have to believe they're in the small small minority. i don't know who exactly the voting members of the AMPAS but I assume many of them hold joint membership in the producer's guild, director's guild, etc. etc. and many if not all of those organization have nominated BBM and the important guilds have awarded BBM. so there seems to be support. now if film critics could vote, BBM would be a shoe-in. their sentiments are much more transparent and it's received the most critical acclaim of any movie in 2005.


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